Sunday, March 29, 2015

Emily Blakeslee, M.D.

For over fifty years, Emily Blakeslee was a physician in Sandusky. During most of her career, Dr. Blakeslee practiced medicine at 258 Wayne Street, where she also resided. (The building was razed in 1960.)

Emily Blakeslee was born in Medina County, Ohio in 1871 to Edwin Charles Blakeslee and Alice (Warner) Blakeslee. In 1897 she graduated from Cleveland University of Medicine and Surgery. 

Charles Burleigh Galbreath wrote in volume five of his book History of Ohio:
“Emily Blakeslee M. D., has been established in the practice of her profession in the City of Sandusky since the year 1897, and has won precedence and popularity as one of the able and representative woman physicians and surgeons of her native state, a state in which her paternal great-grandfather made settlement fully a century ago.”

Dr. Blakeslee was on staff at Sandusky’s Good Samaritan and Providence Hospitals. During World War I, she worked with the Home Service Department of the American Red Cross in Sandusky.

In May of 1950, Dr. Blakeslee was honored during a joint meeting of the Erie County Medical Society and its Auxiliary. She received a 50-year certificate and gold medal. 

On April 26, 1955, Dr. Emily Blakeslee passed away at the Cleveland Clinic, after an illness of several weeks. The headline on the front page of the Sandusky Register Star News read Sandusky’s Only Practicing Woman Doctor is Dead.  Dr. Blakeslee had been a member of Grace Episcopal Church and the Erie County Medical Society. She was survived by a sister, brother, and two nephews. She is buried in Medina, Ohio.

On April 3, 1976, G.D. Wallace paid a salute to Dr. Blakeslee in the Sandusky Register. Wallace stated that Dr. Blakeslee took additional medical courses so she could stay in tune with medical advances and improvements in surgical techniques. The article continued, “Dr. Blakeslee’s appearance as a Sandusky citizen gave added enchantment to the Erie County area. Besides a great interest in religion, she was fond of drama and music, and was a popular factor in the social, cultural and art circles of the county and city…Especially among women, Emily merits the heavy applause for her triumphant struggle to reach the heights of her chosen profession, an interest that carried through since childhood days.”

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